Headdress (Ci-wara Kun)
Arts of Africa
On View: Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Gallery, 5th Floor
In developing the costumes in her installation displayed here, Saya Woolfalk drew from hybrid animal masks such as this ci-wara headdress. Worn on the heads of male dancers, ci-wara headdresses are danced in pairs, often male and female, to symbolize the fertility of land and animals. Each headdress represents a composite of animals, such as antelopes or pangolins (strong, clawed mammals with a protective armor), that are metaphors for the successful farmer who tirelessly and efficiently tills his fields.
Wood, metal, pigment
11 x 22 1/4 x 2 1/2in. (27.9 x 56.5 x 6.4cm)
The Adolph and Esther D. Gottlieb Collection
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Bamana. Headdress (Ci-wara Kun), 20th century. Wood, metal, pigment, 11 x 22 1/4 x 2 1/2in. (27.9 x 56.5 x 6.4cm). Brooklyn Museum, The Adolph and Esther D. Gottlieb Collection, 1989.51.51. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1989.51.51.jpg)
overall, 1989.51.51.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Shiny black patina. Elongated head and neck; sidesfg curved horns incised with herringbone pattern extend from head with ears in front; metal band encircles right horn near tip. Metal tacks for eyes, mouth slightly open with tongue depicted. Band of metal sheeting encircles middle portion of neck, raised metal patterning. Foreshortened body, slightly raised toward back of figure, with tail coiling back on itself at tip. Male genitalia. Short fore- and rear legs, bent, continue into oval platform with four holes used for securing figure to top of head.
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